What began as a personal project for Marco Garcia quickly gathered steam, resulting in a new Web Edit and a totally revamped look. Marco hadn’t sent out a Print Promo in ages, and came to me for help brainstorming the format and content for a new print campaign.
We began our conversation reviewing some examples of his recent work. There were plenty of great images from clients like The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler, but what I kept coming back to was a portrait of a grinning young couple in snorkel gear standing on Waikiki Beach. The picture got me thinking about the dark side of travel that magazines don’t show—the reality of tourism over the romantic idea of travel. I’m sure I’m not alone in imagining that when I visit faraway lands, I am a sensitive, open minded traveler. But, like most who hop on a plane with big ideas of doing as the natives do, I am most likely just another gawking tourist, smelling of sunscreen and overpriced booze.
Because the snorkel/tourist portrait stood out to me so much, Marco and I discussed using it as the basis for his print mailer series, turning his lens away from the beauty of the beach and focusing on out-of-place, unself-conscious sightseers. He liked the idea, and since he lives just down the road from Waikiki, he started shooting immediately.
In a few days, Marco had photographed dozens of vacationers from all over the world. He sent me hundreds of images to sift through, and eventually I settled on nine shots to fill a five panel accordion-fold card. Our good friends at Fresh Color Press did a terrific job as always, and Marco and I were very pleased with the results.
Once we had the promo in hand, we began talking about building Marco’s mailing list, and how to integrate the new series into his website. At that point, looking objectively at his site, I suggested that before the card went out, we think about sprucing up his edit. His website was leaning towards photojournalism, and his travel and portraits lacked the consistent style and approach that I’d seen at the beginning of the promo process. Marco was willing to hear me out and give me the chance for a makeover.
As I reviewed the large number of images he’d sent, I was impressed with how busy Marco has been and how much his travel and food work has improved. After consulting with our other photo editors and producer Jess Dudley, I arrived at three categories: travel, food, and portraiture. Nearly all of the work that made it into the edit had not been on the site before, so the look we created for Marco was totally new and was designed to position him for the big editorial clients he’ll be marketing to on the mainland. When I presented the edit to Marco, his response brought a smile to my face:
With a fresh look and a great new promo, we’re ready to help Marco take the continent by storm!